Christians in Syria are being decimated. Yesterday I received this painful, pleading message that comes from a Syrian believer. Here are some excerpts.
I want you to know and to be aware of some of the sufferings Syrian Christians are going through:
Deprivation, killing, kidnapping, displacement, and family tearing. The fear of death all day long due to facing deprivation, hunger, and the fear of losing children or a family members. Witnessing treason when one of your supposed friends becomes a latent enemy waiting for the right moment to betray you. Facing trained terrorists seeking the annihilation of Christians. Fear of losing jobs or being discharged from work for those who have work. The fear of being a target of randomly falling mortars that would cause death or permanent disabilities. Lawlessness, robbery, desirous thieves, and widespread gangs. Snipers who lurk in buildings and shoot at people without caring for who the target would be or thinking what would happen to a family if the target was its wage-earner who lives for insuring his children’s needs, while his children are waiting for him to come back home safe with some bread to fill their empty stomachs. High cost of living and lack of resources. Continuous feeling of insecurity and being unsafe. Losing homes and moving in with relatives, or having to flee from those who are threatening you and finding refuge only in the streets. A potential cold winter while being short of heating materials. Having to leave our windows open, fearing the rebounding air pressure as a result of a terrorist bombing. Fear of facing disease or sickness when medications are scarce, inordinately expensive, or unavailable. Random booby trapping of cars. Fear of being subjects of terrorist oppression and submitting to their acts by committing misdeeds to satisfy their savagery under the title of need.
Why does it seem like there isn’t any hope for Christians to survive?
Fear of fleeing and going astray in a foreign country about which they know nothing—not even the language. The fear of having to find jobs, starting from scratch, and the worries about not being able to provide for one’s family.
Is it wiser to leave and depart our scorched and agonized land? Or to stay here and face the terrorist killing, evil, and destruction in order to be an encouragement to our people? What shall we do? Even if the Syrian Christians who have decided to leave the country have found that all doors are shut in their faces. Even the UNHCR is not responding to their applications and disastrous situations.
Where is the conscience of the world? Is it true that the world has left us? But one day, could it not be true that you might face the same situation as us? Why is there no protest from the rest of the world when they see Christians being driven from the Middle East—not only Syria, but Iraq, Egypt and other countries as well?
Nevertheless, Syrians will stand still with perseverance. The day will come when the leaders of the West and of all the countries that have aligned against us will be punished for raising their hands against the One who is above all and against his people.
We, God’s people, are the flock that is washed in Christ’s blood, but we still suffer amid confusion and grief, longing to stay with our people who are torn apart, heart-wounded, and who lack hope.
We daily seek God’s will with prayers and fasting, for His protection, a word from Him, and knowledge of his plan. Still, the Lord alone is our help. He will take us up and be our victory. We have no one to trust in now, but him alone.
In John 17:21 Jesus prays: “that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.”
In this message from Syria we can hear the pleading voice asking the church in America, “Where are you? We are the same body. Why are you not raising a voice to God fervently and continuously? Why are you not raising a voice to the world on our behalf?
As a member of our body is being decimated, in the face of these atrocities, it is astonishing and perplexing that the evangelical church in America can be so mute, can display such unconscionable indifference. Our silence is especially deafening when our own tax dollars are being used to maim and kill our brothers and sisters.
My hand is being cut off, but the rest of my body is watching television. I hope my hand doesn’t disturb me since this is my favorite program.
Or while I am in church, I hope my bleeding hand as it is severed from my body does not interfere with the worship time or preaching or the video clip giving all the announcements. I would hate to be distracted from my church experience.
Is the world seeing that we are one? Is it any wonder that they don’t take us seriously?
We might remember that just a decade or so ago we sat by mute silence while the church in Iraq was decimated during American occupation. Now we are again deaf and dumb, too selfish to care that the church in Syria is suffering the same fate.
How can it be that the church that prides itself for its love, that incessantly talks about love, can be so loveless in the face of this urgent, compelling call for love? I hope we have an answer, because someday God will ask us that question.